Softball sweeps UGA for second year in a row

The softball team beat state rival UGA in both games of their doubleheader on Wednesday in front of a packed crowd at Glenn Field, winning 6-4 and 4-3.

“It was a really good day to build on as we move towards the second half of the season,” said junior and first baseman Whitney Haller.

In the first game, senior Aileen Morales started up the offense with a double. She also scored the first run after Haller hit a grounder. Then in the fourth, junior Blair Shimandle hit a liner that just missed being caught. Senior Savannah Brown blasted a hit that sent Shimandle to third. Then a blooper by senior Brittany Barnes brought in Shimandle.

Senior Stephanie Butler and freshman Christy Jones did not waste any time to start a four-run inning in the seventh. Morales followed suit with a hit right up the middle for a RBI double. Haller continued the rally with a multi-RBI double. Brown then brought in the pinch-runner Eppinger with a sacrifice fly.

The defense stepped up on Wednesday as well. Jones maneuvered a diving catch that prevented the runner from advancing. With a strong lead towards the end, the Jackets allowed Humphreys to stay the entire game.

“We hit really well today. Everybody contributed, and everybody did something to help with the wins. It’s really fun when everybody gets to [contribute]…Everyone hit, everyone was running and it was a team effort,” Haller said.

Even with the momentum behind them from the first game, the Jackets ran into some trouble in the beginning of the second game. Humphreys, who appeared in the first three innings, picked up two strikeouts but also gave up two runs.

Then the Jackets brought in freshman Emily Schreck. The freshman pitcher’s outing included only giving up three hits and a run.

“We had some fantastic plays and diving catches from our outfielders and our infield was a wall today [for the UGA offense],” Haller said.

Despite having runners on base, catcher Savannah Brown held a runner from scoring by blocking the plate and Barnes assisted the first baseman, Haller throughout the game.

“Christy Jones really had an amazing diving catch in left field and that really helped us out in the first game and the double play that ended the [second] game was pretty awesome,” Haller said.

Jones brought out the bats and successfully made contact with the ball for a single and stole second in the third inning. After Morales earned a walk, Shimandle hit a grounder that allowed Jones to score.

After a brief drought from the offense, Barnes came out with a double. Weaver hit a multi-RBI double. With the game tied, freshman Amanda Crow helped the Jackets gain the lead with another double. The Jackets carried over the winning ways into the final inning with three perfect fielding plays.

“It’s really easy to get up against your in-state rival; it’s a lot easier than against other teams. We just really pulled together today…,” Haller said.

The Jackets look to carry on their winning streak when the travel to Florida State and then Georgia Southern